Boss Lady had a very wise lit. professor who always did the same lecture at some point during a class. He firmly believed that the anticipation of the kiss is always better than the kiss. Which is to say, that our expectations of an event are always better than the actual event. It's just the way things are. I had never really contemplated this idea until Sunday.
On Sunday, after the vet visit for a few more pokes and prods, Boss Lady took me up to Shrew(woohoo!)sbury for some fun hiking. Yes, the vet gave his approval. Anyway, we both expected to enjoy a near perfect hike. There were several inches of fresh snow from an overnight storm. (Which made the roads a bit sloppy and delayed our arrival time by an interminable number of minutes.) The sky was crystal clear, the temperature was in the low 20's, and Boss Lady was feeling good.
The bubble of her good mood burst as soon as we arrived at the parking area. The parking area that is normally completely empty of any other vehicles, was completely packed with large pick-ups and SUV's each towing a double snow machine wide trailer. She sighed. So much for a calm and pleasant hike. What was worse, there was a dog running loose in the parking lot, while 2 cross country skiiers gathered gear, and the newest snow machine arrivals unloaded their 2 snowmachines in the middle of the road. At first glance, Boss Lady couldn't see a single place to park our tiny little mini-suv. She could see right up the nose of the loose dog as he jumped all over the car, though. Blasted jumping dogs. Fortunately, it turned out the dog belonged with the cross country skiiers, and they were actually packing up to head home. The guys unloading their snow machines figured they could park where the cross country skiier's car had been, and Boss Lady could park slightly ahead of that on the edge of the snow bank. Once all that was settled, Boss Lady suited up, unloaded me, and we headed out.
Things started out alright. We made it to the trailhead, where she deemed it safe for me to be off leash. We could see the tracks from the cross country skiiers, and that's when Boss Lady realized she should have inquired as to how far those skiiers had gone. Maybe she could have followed their tracks and made a loop. Oh well. Maybe she'll stumble upon a loop anyway. Out we headed, and this time we went left at the intersection, because that's the way the skiier's tracks went. We discovered countless other trails branching off, but continued to follow the skiier's tracks. Part way out, Boss Lady's right snow shoe seemed to be giving her difficulty. Her stride wasn't natural and the shoe kept twisting her foot oddly. She couldn't find any problem with the binding, though, and thought maybe it was the final failure of her winter boots. After an hour out, she was working up a good pair of blisters on her right foot and decided to give up. We turned back, and she dragged along with that bum foot.
About half way back, we encountered another pair of cross country skiiers. Of course, I wouldn't recall to her. I didn't charge the people, but the guy kept trying to talk to me and be friendly. Well, you just can't trust a guy who thinks he can befriend every German Shepherd who wanders down the trail. I started barking at him, and that made the woman with him kind of nervous. Boss Lady ordered me into a down, and I grudgingly complied. Hoping to avoid another run in with more skiiers, Boss Lady leashed me well before we reached the trail head. And it was a good thing she did so, because we encountered 2 more skiiers. And then another skiier, plus 2 loose dogs on the snowmobile trail. Fortunately, the dogs were very well behaved and didn't bother me.
Once back on the snowmobile trail, she discovered the problem with her snow shoe. Somehow, she'd managed to accumulate a huge chunk of icey, frozen snow in the crampon of the right snow shoe. The left snow shoe wasn't iced up at all. She tried to chip away the ice, but she couldn't even dent it. Tired, blistered, frustrated by my ill-behaved self, and generally disappointed with the whole adventure, Boss Lady loaded me back into the car and we headed home.